Facing Hurdles in Key Spots
So, Glen Hauenstein, the big shot at Delta Air Lines, spilled the beans that those recent strikes in Hollywood and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union are messing with the comeback of business travel. Despite things looking up overall, these strikes are dragging things down, especially for Delta, which is heavily into cars and showbiz.
What Delta Losing in Market Share
Delta’s got this special spot with over 70% market share at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and almost 20% at Los Angeles International Airport. No other airline rules the roost like Delta at these airports, says the airport data. Now, these strikes are shaking Delta’s dominance.
Strikes Shaking Things Up
The UAW strikes kicked off after carmakers and the union couldn’t shake hands on a new labor deal, and it’s been going on for almost a month. Detroit’s business travel took a hit. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s dealing with its own drama – writers wrapped up their strike, but actors, represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, are still on strike. Talks between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the striking actors hit pause, with both sides miles apart.
Delta Got Its Own Set of Issues
Hauenstein, Delta’s big cheese, spilled that Delta’s getting the short end of the stick because of these strikes, especially in Los Angeles and Detroit. The combo of Hollywood and UAW strikes has caused “a not insignificant change in the business travel to and from Los Angeles as well as now the UAW strike, which curtailed a significant amount of the business in Detroit,” he said.
Finding a Silver Lining
Even with these problems, Hauenstein’s not all doom and gloom. He mentioned that tech and finance folks are boosting the numbers in the third quarter with double-digit growth. Despite the rough patches, certain sectors are helping business travel make a comeback.
Delta’s chat with corporate customers showed that most of them think travel will stay the same or even pick up in the last quarter of this year and all through 2024. Even though things are a bit shaky now, corporate travelers seem hopeful for a better travel scene in the next few months.
Looking Ahead: Figuring Out the Business Travel Comeback
So, Delta and the other airlines are dealing with these bumps in the road. The silver lining from specific sectors and the positive vibes from corporate customers hint that these strikes might be a temporary hiccup. Airlines are likely going to keep changing things up to deal with the twists and turns, all while focusing on bouncing back and keeping all types of travelers happy.